Houston, Texas-headquartered Kraton has announced a significant investment in its Alpha Methyl Styrene (AMS) Resins facility in Niort, France.
The company, which specializes in sustainable production of specialty polymers and high-value bio-based products derived from pine wood pulping co-products, expects the investment to result in a 15% production increase at the Niort manufacturing facility by 2023. In addition to this capacity increase, Kraton anticipates the investment will lead to a 70% reduction in solvent consumption, creating a favorable impact on the product lifecycle by the end of 2022.
Kraton’s AMS Resins, also known as Pure Monomer Resins, are sold in high-end applications such as tread enhancement additives for premium tires and as high-performance tackifying resins in fast-growing adhesive markets. Kraton’s Sylvatraxx tread enhancement additives improve the overall performance of tire treads in terms of wet grip, low rolling resistance and durability, enabling safer driving, better fuel efficiency and range. Due to increasingly stringent car emission standards across the globe, these high-performance additives have seen substantial demand growth.
“The rise in electric vehicles also contributes to this growth, as the increased EV weight and higher torque bring new challenges in tire performance,” said Torsten Schmidt, vice president of Commercial, Kraton Pine Chemicals. “Our Sylvatraxx products continue to gain popularity across the entire tire value chain as they enable our customers to meet these new requirements.”
In recent years, Kraton has made significant investments in AMS Resins at the manufacturing facility in Niort, resulting in added operational capacity and improved asset reliability. As customer demand increases, the new growth project focuses on advancing production efficiencies while improving the site’s environmental footprint.
In parallel with the current expansion projects, Kraton is exploring additional manufacturing expansion opportunities at the Niort plant beyond 2023.